The permanent labor certification process is for foreign nationals who have a U.S. employer that is willing to hire them on a permanent basis to work in the country. There are a range of steps in the permanent labor certification process. This review discusses each step, highlighting the forms the employer must submit, the forms the foreign national must submit and the requirements that must be met for eligibility.

What Is A Permanent Labor Certification?

A permanent labor certification is a permit for a foreign national to work in the United States on a permanent basis. They are issued by the United States Department of Labor (DOL). The purpose of the permanent labor certification is to address issues where there are no qualified U.S. workers for a certain position. For a foreign national to receive permanent labor status, the employer must verify their plans to hire the foreign national and their willingness to pay a prevailing wage. They must also prove that they made an honest attempt to hire a qualified U.S. applicant, but there were none that applied for the position.

How The Permanent Labor Certification Process Works

The permanent labor certification process can be rather extensive, and it is important to work with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure everything is done by the book. The permanent labor certification process involves submitting a prevailing wage determination request, the employer testing the labor market and filing form 9089 with the Department of Labor. After approval, the foreign national can apply for adjustment of status.

Submit A Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) Request

The first step in the permanent labor certification process is to submit a prevailing wage determination request. This is to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor by the employer that intends to hire the foreign national. This lets the Department of Labor know that the employer intends to pay a prevailing wage; the department of labor determines what constitutes a prevailing wage based on the job duties and the qualifications the job requires. The employer should outline the job requirements, job duties and the place of work in the prevailing wage determination request, along with any other relevant information.

Employer Tests The Labor Market With Recruitment And Ad Placement

As mentioned, the employer must also show that they have made an effort to hire a qualified U.S. worker and were unable to do so. After all, the purpose of the permanent labor certification is to fill a role that was not able to be filled by a qualified and willing U.S. applicant. There are many mandatory requirements as it relates to the recruiting and advertising stages of the permanent labor certification process.

First, the employer must place an advertisement with the state workforce agency. They must also place newspaper advertisements with what is considered a major newspaper in the local area. For example, a company in Atlanta can place advertisements in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. If no qualified workers apply for the job, then the employer and foreign national can file the permanent labor application (see below). All advertisements must be placed 180 days or less before the filing of the permanent labor application.

File The PERM Application With The Department Of Labor (Form 9089)

There is a 30-day mandatory waiting period after the advertisements are placed. If no qualified and willing applicants apply for the job during the 30-day period, then the employer can proceed with the process of hiring the foreign national by submitting a PERM (permanent labor) application with the Department of Labor. This is done through Form 9089. The application includes similar information to the prevailing wage determination request. It can take several months for the Department of Labor to approve, deny or audit the application.

The Foreign National Applies For Adjustment Of Status

Once the permanent labor application is approved by the Department of Labor, then the employer must submit an I-140 petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The employer must show that the hired foreign national has the qualifications necessary for the job and that the employer is capable of paying the wage established in the PERM application. Once approved, the foreign national can apply for adjustment of status (if necessary). They can also start the process to have their immediate relatives join them in the United States as well.

Speak With An Immigration Lawyer At Pride Immigration

Are you seeking labor certification to work on a permanent basis in the United States? If so, then reach out to our experienced and professional immigration team today. We take pride in helping foreign nationals obtain the applicable visa or green card of interest. Notably, we have experience with the PERM process and can help you (and your employer) through each step.

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Beeraj Patel, Esq.

Partner at KPPB Law
Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.
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